Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Urbana) hailed today's passage of legislation that includes $319.1 million to benefit the 179th Airlift Wing's new flying mission.
This funding for the Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) program is included in the Fiscal Year 2010 Department of Defense spending bill, which passed the House with Jordan's strong support by a vote of 400 to 30.
"This is outstanding news for the 179th and the Ohio National Guard," Jordan said. "These funds will help keep the JCA program on track and keep the unit on course for its new mission."
Following the 2005 base closure round, under which the 179th was slated to lose its C-130 aircraft, the National Guard Bureau confirmed a plan to assign JCAs to the unit. Under plans formalized by the Air Force last year, the 179th is scheduled to be among the first units to receive the new mid-range cargo planes.
Jordan has made the JCA program a top priority since taking office in 2007. Earlier this year, he committed his support for the JCA to the House Appropriations Committee and the House Armed Services Committee. He has also contacted top Pentagon and National Guard leaders--including Lieutenant General Harry M. Wyatt, Director of the Air National Guard--in support of locating all JCA training activities at Mansfield Lahm Airport, home of the 179th.
"With two runways, clear airspace, and no competing commercial carriers, Mansfield Lahm is the ideal home for JCA training," Jordan said.
Overall, the defense spending bill provides $636 billion in funding to the Department of Defense, including nearly $30 billion for service member medical care programs. It fully funds a 3.4-percent military pay increase0.5 percent above President Obama's request.
"The extraordinary sacrifices of our men and women in uniform make it of paramount importance that we give them the equipment and support they need to complete their mission," Jordan said.